Swedish meatballs, or "köttbullar," are a classic comfort food known for their tender texture and rich flavor. Traditionally served with creamy gravy, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry jam, these meatballs have become a beloved dish worldwide. Their popularity has soared partly due to IKEA's famous rendition, but nothing beats the taste of homemade Swedish meatballs.

swedish meatballs recipe

Ingredients List

Before you start cooking, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter (for frying)

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Meatball Mixture

  1. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Allow them to soak for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are soft.
  2. Add the ground beef, ground pork, chopped onion, egg, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg to the bowl. Mix everything together until well combined. Using your hands is the best method to ensure an even mixture.

Step 2: Shape the Meatballs

  1. With damp hands, form the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Place them on a plate or baking sheet.

Step 3: Cook the Meatballs

  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Once melted and hot, add the meatballs in batches. Fry them until they're browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per batch.
  2. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside. Keep them warm.

Step 4: Make the Gravy

  1. In the same skillet, add the butter for the gravy. Once melted, whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until it turns a light brown color.
  2. Gradually whisk in the beef broth, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the heavy cream and soy sauce, and continue to whisk until the gravy thickens.
  3. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Combine Meatballs and Gravy

  1. Return the cooked meatballs to the skillet with the gravy. Gently stir to coat the meatballs in the gravy. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Serving Suggestions

Swedish meatballs are traditionally served with:

  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect base to soak up the rich gravy.
  • Lingonberry Jam: The tartness of lingonberry jam balances the savory meatballs and gravy.
  • Pickled Cucumbers: Crisp and tangy cucumbers add a refreshing crunch.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Storage: Store any leftover meatballs and gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat the meatballs gently in a skillet over medium-low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen the gravy if needed. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy your homemade Swedish meatballs with family and friends, and experience the cozy, comforting flavors of this classic dish. Happy cooking!

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